Mary Mentaberry is leaving as executive director of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, reports Youth Today. Her departure ends a nearly four-decade career that saw the council significantly increase its federal funding, get mired in a fraud investigation that muddied its image, and make a major policy reversal on handling status offenders. Retired judge Dale Koch of Oregon will serve as interim executive director while the council, which reports a membership of 1,900 judges, commissioners and other law professionals, searches for a successor.
After Executive Director Lou McHardy left in 1999, having served for 28 years, the next two leaders were outsiders who had rocky tenures of about two years each: David Funk and Judge David Mitchell. Mentaberry played a key role in boosting the council's income from activities that included training juvenile court judges, producing studies and guidelines about juvenile justice, and providing technical assistance to courts around the country. It also operates the National Center for Juvenile Justice in Pittsburgh.